Upper michigan pasties

Yield: 4 servings

Measure Ingredient
2 cups Flour
½ cup Shortening
¼ cup Lard
¼ cup Scraped suet
Water
1¼ pounds Beef, coarsely ground
4 mediums Potatoes, diced
1 large Onion, chopped
¼ cup Rutabaga (swede), diced
1 Carrot, diced
Salt and pepper

CRUST

FILLING

Put the flour in a bowl and cut in the shortening, lard and suet.

Add just enough water to make a soft dough. Divide the dough into four parts and roll out each piece into a circle about the size of a dinner plate.

Crumble the meat into a bowl and stir in the potatoes, onion, rutabaga and carrot. Divide the mixture into four parts, putting some on one side of each piece of dough. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.

Fold the pastry over the filling to make half-moon shaped pies. Seal the edges and cut a couple of small slits on the top. Bake on a cookie sheet at 375 degrees F. for 30 to 35 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees F. and bake 15 more minutes.

NOTES:

* Cornish-style meat pies from the UP -- The pasty (PAH-stee) is a kind of English meat pie. It was brought to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan by Cornish miners in the mid-nineteenth century. The UP version differs slightly from the original Cornish pasty in that it has more vegetables and less meat and crust.

You can eat pasties hot, warm, or cold. If you wrap them in aluminum foil when they come out of the oven, they'll keep warm for hours.

Or, you can refrigerate/freeze them and reheat them later. (Maybe the original "fast food?")

* Most people who live in the UP don't bother to make their own pasties; they buy them from bakeries and pasty shops (which are as common as hamburger joints are in other parts of the country). As a former resident, though, sometimes I get homesick and resort to making them myself. This is the recipe my mother sent me.

* These have a high cholesterol content. I've tried using an ordinary vegetable-shortening pie crust, but it invariably turns out too dry and crumbly to hold together. (Authentic UP pasties have a crust that's thin, moist, and somewhat chewy, not a flaky crust.) If anyone has any ideas, I'd love to hear about them. You can also cook the filling by itself in a casserole dish if you're feeling lazy about making the crust.

: Difficulty: moderate.

: Time: 30 minutes preparation, 1 hour cooking and cooling.

: Precision: measure the crust ingredients.

: Sandra Loosemore

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